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Label: books

Friday 27th March 2015Free Art Books from the Met

One of the most enjoyable things about the internet is the way that it has completely changed our access to information. Almost any question can be answered relatively easily, and even the more complex questions can likely be answered with a little bit of digging around online (and, of course, the application of some critical thinking skills to ensure you don't wind up in the web of misinformation that also exists parallel to fact). But there's still something nice about having books, for the simple fact that it's more of a curated experience, almost akin to walking through a museum. Instead of self-direction, an expert guides you through a topic, showing examples they've chosen instead of ones you might happen upon yourself. This becomes a bit of a problem in the world of art books, however, since so many of them are large-format hardcover books that can easily let you rack up a huge bill at your local bookstore (or, more likely at Amazon, but regardless - they're expensive).

Enter the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has decided to release a huge number of its published works online completely free - and that's free as in beer, no hidden fees or anything like that. Under the umbrella of their MetPublications brand, there are now over 400 free ebooks available for download from their website, which you can browse through here. They politely ask for a donation, but it's completely optional. When you stack that up against paying well over $100 for a single one of their admittedly gorgeous volumes, it's easy to see the appeal.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art isn't the only museum that is trying to open up digital access online, however, as a number of others have similar (albeit smaller) collections available online, including over 250 books from the Getty Museum, and over 100 from the Guggenheim Museum.

If that doesn't pique your interest, however, the Met has also decided to digitize and make public over 400,000 high resolution images from their collection - and best of all, they're free to access and free to use, providing you don't try to take credit for them, of course. Give it a look over and see if you find your next inspiration! 
 

Posted on March 27th 2015 on 04:57pm
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